Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Trail Running

Running trails in the winter has been elusive over the past few years.  The snow and ice have had me more than freaked since my fractured fibula in 2006.  This injury did not occur on the trail, but asphalt, while running in 3 feet of snow. I have re-lived that event and know just how quickly these injuries occur.  
December 2006, Five weeks
before our first son.
Plate & Screws still intact!
In Denver, we get random snow storms and then temperatures in the 50s and 60s just a few days later. City running is fantastic and I typically only do 3 to 4 annual treadmill runs.  But the snow takes forever to melt off of our Front Range trails.  The shade and foot prints just pack the snow down into ice, creating some gnarly sections of trail.  Until this year, I have had to stay away.  No Longer...

Knowing how much work the 2012 race season is going to require, there is no way I can wait for late spring to hit the Front Range inclines. So with some thought and consideration, I wanted to head up to Evergreen this weekend.  The Evergreen trails are some of the best I have ever been on and I consider that my 2nd happiest place!  My novice calculations of winter trails figured that the temperatures are lower up the hill and there would be less ice melt. Going for a snow pack run, in my XTalon trail shoes would be a great combination.  

I was able to convince my buddy Heath that this was a good idea.  We packed our YakTrax in case of ice, some gatorade and set off for an early morning Elk Meadow Trail run (Garmin Data).  This phenomenal 10.5 mile run gains over 2500 feet to the top of Bergen Peak, with views of Mt Evans to the West.  We were very fortunate to have perfect conditions and the footing was excellent.  

In an effort to chronicle my journey for 2012, Boston to Leadman, I am going go try to take some video footage of workouts and events. Awkward and corny as it may be, this is what I came up with from our Saturday run. 

All footage was taken with my iPhone and the heavy breathing really captures the moment. I hope to expand my capabilities and continue to show the beauty of Colorado and awesomeness of Trail Running in Winter.